While the past Comic Market in May was canceled due to “Coronaka” — written コロナ禍 in kanji, the word is roughly translatable as “the whirlwind calamity of Corona” — I’m happy to report that not all fun doujinshi events are gone forever. Last weekend saw the successful execution of COMIC1, a doujinshi sokubaikai (direct-sales convention) that was held at Tokyo Big Sight, where Comiket takes place twice a year. How did it go? Here’s our report!
I had a great weekend at Comic1. It was wonderful getting to talk with so many of my favorite artists!
(Legend: right to left, top to bottom) pic.twitter.com/nGskxFa3yt
— David Goldberg @ Comic1 (@rotoscopic) October 20, 2020
We sent David Goldberg, our crack doujinshi licensing and localization manager, to the event to take some photos and report on how the event went.
The event was COMIC1, a smaller doujinshi direct-sales event that, Wikipedia tells me, was founded in 2007 and held annually since then. This event’s attendance was capped at 10,000 participants, past events have been larger, with 25,000 or more attending. If you’ve been to a Comiket event, you’ll know what it’s like to be caught in a sea of 700,000 other people, guided inside the hall expertly by the event staff, but this event was microscopic compared to that massive event. Still, it was a big success!
This being Japan, the wearing of protective masks comes second nature, and everyone was happy to do their part to keep themselves and others safe from spreading the virus.
While attendance at Comiket has been quite informal, attendees had to have an official pass on their clothing to make sure no unauthorized fans snuck in.
Everyone was keeping their distance to maintain safety!
There are four massive halls in the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, which are filled to capacity during a Comiket. Each of these halls would easily hold a full-sized Millenium Falcom with room for a few X-Wings leftover. For this show, part of only one of these spaces was used, so there was lots of room between people.
Compare the empty room with the massive flow of people that are generally found at a Comiket event.
Our staff was there to buy doujinshi for his personal collection, but also to connect with doujinshi creators who might work with J18 Publishing in the future. We love making new relationships with artists that lead to uncensored, translated doujinshi for fans around the world to buy and support.
2020 has been one of the worst years any of us can remember, causing the cancelation of our favorite otaku events like Anime Expo and the San Diego Comic-Con, but it’s nice to see that convention culture isn’t dead for good. With any luck, the winter Comiket might even go forward somehow. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for reading this post about attending the COMIC1 doujinshi event in the age of Corona. Make sure to browse J-List for our newest doujinshi books, and check out the licensed and translated doujinshi from J18 Publishing!
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Great news! J-List has started the new Fukubukuro grab bags, which are always such a popular item with J-List customers. We’ve got both fun toy and plush Grab Bags as well as a really great ecchi mystery box filled with fun items. Browse the new Fukubukuro offerings here!